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Movers & Shakers

K12 superintendent posts humorous Facebook videos for parents

Other news: Principal greets students every day, principal creates various programs, government council member starts bullying prevention program
John Gaddis is superintendent of Somerset County School District in Maryland.
John Gaddis is superintendent of Somerset County School District in Maryland.

John Gaddis, superintendent of Somerset County School District in Maryland, quells parent frustration over repeated snow-day cancellations by posting humorous videos on Facebook.

Gaddis—while wearing flip flops, swim trunks and Hawaiian shirts—films himself in the snow fishing, roasting marshmallows and sitting in a beach chair next to a grill. Parents reportedly like the videos and haven’t called the district to complain about the snow days as a result.

Principal Jeremy Luna of Taylor Community School Corporation in Indiana goes outside every morning to greet elementary students as they arrive at school, rain or shine (or snow). Luna opens car doors for every child, chats with parents, and gives students high-fives and hugs.

Parents say they don’t worry about dropping their kids off at Taylor Elementary School because of Luna’s hands-on approach.

Principal Kathleen Schipper, who has been battling breast cancer since 2016, launched a homeroom program at Illinois’ River Bend Middle School in which students are given $100 to positively impact their community. She has hosted etiquette dinners at her school, which is part of the rural River Bend Community Unit 2 School District.

Schipper, named Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association for her efforts, also works with struggling students to help them complete missing assignments. 

Vicki Hunt, a government council member who represents the Acacia District in Arizona, has started a bullying prevention program at Peoria USD. She visits schools to read books about bullying and has also purchased and placed a “Buddy Bench” at five of the district’s Title I elementaries.

Students sit on the bench if they’re being bullied, and other children go to an administrator for help.